A trade group representing 2,000 online sellers in India filed an antitrust case against Amazon, alleging that the company engages in unfair business practices. Amazon already faces dozens of antitrust probes, now and in the future, from federal and state governments in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The latest in India accuses Amazon of favoring certain sellers by providing steep online discounts that drive independent retailers out of business.
- The All India Online Vendors Association, whose members sell on Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart, filed its case with the Competition Commission of India (CCI), a government agency that investigates competition practices in the country.
- The association claims that Amazon India purchases products in bulk from manufacturers and sells them at a loss to vendors like Cloudtail India and Appario, who turn around and sell the goods on Amazon’s marketplace at a discounted price.
- Both Cloudtail India and Appario are partially owned by Amazon. The group claims Cloudtail pays a 6.3% fee to Amazon for electronic products, compared to 28.1% for independent sellers.
- Amazon denied the claims and says it has an "equal relationship with all the sellers" on its marketplace. The CCI will review the case and decide if it wants to launch a bigger investigation.
- Amazon already faces regulatory challenges in India, where it has committed to invest $6.5b. In a separate probe, the CCI explored whether Amazon and Flipkart violate competition law through their discounting practices. That case is currently on hold after Amazon argued that there was insufficient evidence.